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Calorie Count Blog

A New Fitness Rx?


By ismile67 on Aug 11, 2011 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that about 1 in 4 of us don’t spend any of our free time walking, gardening, or doing any real physical activity. Given all the known benefits of exercise—it strengthen’s our bones and muscles, reduces stress and depression, and can even help us manage our weight—why do so many of us fall off (or fail to even get on) the fitness bandwagon?

Lack of time or motivation, and having too many family and work demands are some common excuses many of us use for not being more active. Unfortunately, if we don’t make fitness a priority or put it on our to do list, we may very well pay a big price. According to the CDC, physical inactivity is a leading cause of preventable death, and accounts for 1 in 10 deaths—just like obesity and overweight—in the U.S. 

If, despite your best efforts, you haven’t yet committed to exercise as a way of life, a new initiative called The Weekly Fitness Challenge (WFC) may inspire you to once and for all turn intent into action.  

Phase one of the WFC began in 2009 when a single tweet led to a social media blitz that inspired fitness, health, medical, and nutrition expert volunteers to support the initiative. But the seeds of the WFC, an initiative designed to educate, motivate, and lead inactive people to get active, were first planted 16 years ago by fitness expert Geoff Hampton. When his young, vibrant first wife and the mother of his two daughters was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, Hampton began an 8-1/2 year journey to save his wife. As they explored various options, Hampton was troubled by the countless cases of horrific illnesses and health conditions he encountered. Many of the people he came across were inactive, overweight, or both, and he knew that in a lot of cases, poor eating habits and inactivity—things that were modifiable—were to blame. Although Hampton couldn’t help save his wife, he embarked on a mission to help inactive people—especially those who tried and failed before—to take charge of their lives and make positive, permanent lifestyle changes. After creating and implementing several community health initiatives, first in New Jersey, and then in San Diego, he created the WFC. 

Today marks the phase 2 kick off of the WFC. This community outreach component includes a 3 day event in Knoxville, Tennessee called “The Gift of Health." Hampton, Lori Shemek, PhD, founder of DLS HEALTHWORKS, LLC, and other leaders of the WFC will speak about exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle modification in an effort to educate, motivate, and inspire people to take better care of themselves and encourage others to do the same.

Although the campaign is still in its infancy, and as an awareness of all the components of the campaign grow domestically and internationally, weekly targeted learning applications will be added to community programs to help participants learn about and implement healthful lifestyle behaviors one week at a time. 

If you’re inspired to make fitness a part of your life and to reap the many benefits an active lifestyle provides, here are some tips from Nancy Clark, MS, RD, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, and Larysa Didio, celebrity trainer and fitness author, to help you get started:

* Choose an activity/exercise that has purpose and meaning. “Instead of hopping on another exercycle to nowhere, why not ride your bike to work (or at least part of the way), walk to the store to get the newspaper, or start a daily or weekly walking group with friends,” says Clark. 

* Start slow and build gradually. Didio says “Most new workout programs get ditched because people get a little too enthusiastic initially, and then burn out quickly. Instead of going gung-ho, why not start with a 20 minute workout 3 times a week and build from there.” 

* Fuel yourself BEFORE you exercise. Clark says “One woman who said she hated to exercise began to enjoy it when she made sure to have a healthy 200 to 300 calorie pre-exercise snack. Looking back, she realized she had been exercising while dieting—no wonder she felt hungry and lacked energy!” 

* Stay accountable. “Every Sunday, write down your goals for the week and post them in a place where you know you’ll see them every morning,” says Didio. “That not only makes you accountable, at least to yourself, but serves as a daily reminder to get moving.”

What helps you stay motivated to exercise?

Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and award-winning author of "Nutrition At Your Fingertips," "Feed Your Family Right!," and "So What Can I Eat?!." She is also a past national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. For more information, go to www.elisazied.com. Sign up for free weekly ZIED GUIDE™ newsletter for nutrition tips and news you can use (go to right side of home page at elisazied.com).  Follow Elisa on Twitter/elisazied and on Facebook.



Comments


I stand in front of a mirror, see how fat and ugly I am and that motivates me. Or when they mistake me for a pregnant woman on the public transport.



I think keeping track of workout lengths and intensities is a great way to stay motivated. If I ran today for 30 minutes, next time I'll set a goal to run for 31. If I completed a very challenging workout DVD today and had to stop three times, next time I'll aim to stop only twice. I keep track of all of these things -- just like I track weight and measurements -- and then I always have a new goal to try and reach. The most motivating part is looking back to the very beginning -- when I could only run for 1 minute at a time or I could only do 40% of that workout video. It really shows you how far you've come.



Even though I would sometimes sell my soul just to stay home, I think of how good I feel after a workout, and it motivates me to put on my running shoes, grab my dog and go for a run.Tracking your best time is also a good way to push yourself to do even better the next time. It works for me!!



#1 - I found something that challenges me AND that I actually enjoy - weight classes and zumba classes.  For me, I know that the weighs change my body and zumba is just fun, so I look forward to them all week.

#2 - I hold myself accountable by treating workouts like they are doctor appointments that I cannot miss.  Because of this, I've been 100% consistent for seven months now, so these things definitely work for me!



I've come to realize that I just feel so much better all the way around when I make exercise a part of my day. I used to suffer from depression and anxiety and exercise (along with a better diet) has really helped me to stave those things off more. It's not like I never get depressed anymore, but now when I start to feel that sadness it's much easier to overcome it and not allow it to drag me down under. I feel much more in control of it than I did when I lived a more sedentary life. Plus, exercise just makes me feel better about myself and about life in general. I don't always want to do it, but on those days I just have to tell myself I'll feel better if I do and that seems to help keep me going. I think people should look at exercise like they do brushing your teeth. It should be thought of as part of the daily hygiene and self-maintenance.



I always just try to remind myself that I never feel bad about going and working out, but I do feel bad if I skip a workout (for whatever reason - too tired, too late, etc.). So i guess I work out to avoid feeling guilty. :P



Comment Removed

My body actually hurts when I have not been running or working out. I am physically sore, I go for a run and feel so much better. It is weird how when you first start working out the workout makes you sore, and now it is the lack of physical activity that hurts me.

 



I try to give myself a challenge/goal to meet. My latest goal is being able to run the 8 miles from my hometown to the neighboring town by the end of September. It's a very pretty winding road through hills and trees; very scenic. I'm currently up to 4 miles right now, and when I get tired and want to quit I just think about that goal and it keeps me going.. pushing just a little bit harder. 

Also, we have a trip to hawaii coming up in February and I want to make sure I have a rockin' beach bod ;) Also, I want to make sure my balance and strength is up for surfing! So coupled with running, I also do yoga, plyometrics, and weight training. 

I agree with timing yourself and competing with your current best time!



Original Post by: bierorama

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

I stand in front of a mirror, see how fat and ugly I am and that motivates me. Or when they mistake me for a pregnant woman on the public transport.


Have you considered taking steps to increase your self esteem? I'm not trying to be rude but I've never used "see[ing] how fat and ugly I am" as my motivation to lose weight. Instead, I am motivated by being the strongest, healthiest person I can be.

Your post made me sad. :(


Naw, every time I feel good about myself I want to give up. I think being content or happy is not good for me. It makes me want to lie in my bed and watch TV all day. Besides, I'm just saying what everyone is thinking. Also, I know I'm not going to loose weight. I've been at this for 3 years and I'm still at the same weight. The only reason to exercise is to keep from gaining and to keep up my muscles so that I can stand up with my bad spine and my bad knees and all. If I don't work out and let my muscles lax, I won't be able to exist.



I found that with intense exercise, I can actually eat 1400-1800 calories of healthy food and still lose weight!!  No more, no carb or packaged food diets for me!  p90x and Turbo Fire are my new friends!!  I love both and just make the time.  Turbo fire is really fun!  I just went to the beach and was able to do 4-5 mile runs, no problem.  Being fit is my new goal and I also lost 16 pounds since I started almost a year ago.   I have multiple days off of dieting in that year, believe me.  I have 6 more to go, but I am in the best shape of my life.



Right now I am feeling motivated to stay active and planning my healthy meals in advance,  I think even doing chores around the house counts as being active.  Cause you will be moving from one place to the next, sweeping, dusting, mopping and stuff. That's how I stay active.



i discovered at a very young age that exercise does wonders to lift depression, and with the exception of a few years hiatus have been pretty darn consistent in getting an hour plus of good strenous exercise daily.

to keep it fresh i try different things. last year i saw a program on navy seals. they were treading water in full gear with packs on for 30 minutes at a time and longer. i thought, gee i wonder if i can even tread water, so i tried it and made my goal 5 minutes.

this summer my goal was 20 minutes - and i've already hit that and am considering going for 25. (but of course i am in a swim suit sans pack and weights :-))

so my advise is find something you think would be fun, and then continually challenge yourself to get better at it.

when i retire it's going to be ballroom dancing!



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Original Post by: bierorama

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

I stand in front of a mirror, see how fat and ugly I am and that motivates me. Or when they mistake me for a pregnant woman on the public transport.


Have you considered taking steps to increase your self esteem? I'm not trying to be rude but I've never used "see[ing] how fat and ugly I am" as my motivation to lose weight. Instead, I am motivated by being the strongest, healthiest person I can be.

Your post made me sad. :(


Naw, every time I feel good about myself I want to give up. I think being content or happy is not good for me. It makes me want to lie in my bed and watch TV all day. Besides, I'm just saying what everyone is thinking. Also, I know I'm not going to loose weight. I've been at this for 3 years and I'm still at the same weight. The only reason to exercise is to keep from gaining and to keep up my muscles so that I can stand up with my bad spine and my bad knees and all. If I don't work out and let my muscles lax, I won't be able to exist.


No, that isn't what everyone is thinking! I look in the mirror and i see wrinkles and white hairs popping out everywhere and i think wow, you shur look good for your age! Kiss



Original Post by: jenjurk

My body actually hurts when I have not been running or working out. I am physically sore, I go for a run and feel so much better. It is weird how when you first start working out the workout makes you sore, and now it is the lack of physical activity that hurts me.

 


yep, knees get stiff from sitting at work too much, gotta run when i get home!



I think our technologically and intellectually-obsessed society often gets lost living in its head and relaxing, and forgets that human beings are animals--and we were MADE to MOVE! The life of our ancestors wasn't sedentary--they were constantly performing manual labor, on the move, working, etc. And the further back you go, the more active we used to be as a collective.

Thinking this way has really helped motivate me to move as much as possible--although I maintain balance with moments of stillness and relaxation. And yes, its definitely dispelled my past depression and self-loathing. When I work out, I feel powerful and alive.

If you look at nature, anything that is alive is naturally active, and constantly on the move. If we are inactive, we might as well be dead.



A friend of mine and I both became frustrated with our lack of exercise - she was starting to have hip problems and I am frustrated with my lack of energy and not feeling good about myself. 

Even though we live at opposite sides of the city, we call each other each night at 9:30 PM to report what we have done and to encourage each other.  Because I know that that phone call is coming, I am motivated to exercise even if I am tempted to skip doing anything. 

So far this week, I have exercised 5 out of 6 days.  We're both starting out slowly doing walks and doing what I can on exercise videos - haven't even been able to make it through a complete routine but each time I am doing more.

If I do bail out one day from exercise I try not to be hard on myself - I say to myself - it doesn't matter how many times you fall, what matters is that you get up and keep trying.  That is my attitude - I am going to keep trying until I start losing and get fit again.



Original Post by: aquasheep

I've come to realize that I just feel so much better all the way around when I make exercise a part of my day. I used to suffer from depression and anxiety and exercise (along with a better diet) has really helped me to stave those things off more. It's not like I never get depressed anymore, but now when I start to feel that sadness it's much easier to overcome it and not allow it to drag me down under. I feel much more in control of it than I did when I lived a more sedentary life. Plus, exercise just makes me feel better about myself and about life in general. I don't always want to do it, but on those days I just have to tell myself I'll feel better if I do and that seems to help keep me going. I think people should look at exercise like they do brushing your teeth. It should be thought of as part of the daily hygiene and self-maintenance.


This is so true!!

I went to the Dr. to talk about my mood swings (depression to happiness to anger....I was ALL OVER the spectrum!)  Her suggestion to me, before looking at medicine, was to change my diet and fitness habits.  At first, I thought she was crazy and didn't do anything.  After a few months, though, I got motivation (probably during one of my more "manic" phases) to start making positive changes in my life.  I started eating better and working out daily.  I feel SO much better!  It's true, I do still have some mood swings, but they are few and far between, and not as drastic as they once were.

Also, I've found that I'm much more productive during the day (I'm a Stay at Home Wife), and being active at the gym for a half hour a day gives me more motivation (most day, lol!) to be more productive at home.  Because of my depression and mood swings a lot of days I just couldn't get much done.  My poor husband put up with me so graciously and kindly picked up my slack.  And, by being more productive and being on my feet more, I know that I'm also upping my fitness and burning more calories that way. 



i used to be very fit, but then i "let myself go" after having three kids.  i felt so beat down all the time.  i realized i was putting everybody else's WANTS ahead of my NEEDS.  now i exercise every day and eat better.  i try to take care of myself as i would another family member.  since ive made the shift, i feel so much better doing at least that one thing for me.



Did anyone else click on that Weekly Fitness Challenge link and find it absolutely uninformative?  I thought there were going to be fitness regimens or exercises posted for each week.  Instead I got a video with "Thanks to our Sponsors" and a lot of explanation of what their organization is about without any actually, well, fitness challenges.



Original Post by: bierorama

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

I stand in front of a mirror, see how fat and ugly I am and that motivates me. Or when they mistake me for a pregnant woman on the public transport.


Have you considered taking steps to increase your self esteem? I'm not trying to be rude but I've never used "see[ing] how fat and ugly I am" as my motivation to lose weight. Instead, I am motivated by being the strongest, healthiest person I can be.

Your post made me sad. :(


Having had this happen to me as well, I can understand why her self esteem's low.  Having people ask you if you're pregnant is probably one of the worst ways of being told you're fat--not only does it mean your stomach is so fat there has to be a baby inside it, but if you're not married people are assuming you're knocked up!  I'm married and I still find this very very upsetting; especially since I spend SO much time exercising.  Last week I discovered I had lost yet another pound, thanks to my calorie counting and active lifestyle (run 8-14 miles every weekend; spin 2-3 times a week; swim/elliptical 1-2 a week; engineering job with heavy lifting).  Then I went with my husband to a family event and my mother-in-law asked if I'm pregnant.  It ruined my mood for the entire evening; made me wonder what the point of being strong and fit is if I still look like crap.  Like, there were WAY fatter women at the event but apparently only I had a stomach so deformed-looking that pregnancy was the best explanation. 

Long story short, it's FAR more embarrassing having to explain to well-meaning people that you're not pregnant, just fat, than it is to come up with a witty retort to a mean person calling you fat.



I stay motivated by running with my Corgi.  I pretend he is the one who's fat and needs "training," and I coach him while we run. 

"You'll hit the downhill path soon." 

"Home stretch, bud!  Keep up!" 

"If you have the energy to lunge sideways after duck poo, you should be able to go faster in a straight line."

Right now it is summer and he is dragging a lot, because of his thick fur.  I have him wearing saddlebags so he can carry his collapsible water dish and I can keep him hydrated with water fountains along the way.  I always run him at night, and make sure we run through sprinklers frequently so he stays cool.  But in the winter, he keeps up very well with me and we can go for 90-120 min at a time without him needing to stop. 

"Training Marathon Corgi" is far easier than "running to decrease my thunder-thighs."



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Original Post by: bierorama

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

I stand in front of a mirror, see how fat and ugly I am and that motivates me. Or when they mistake me for a pregnant woman on the public transport.


Have you considered taking steps to increase your self esteem? I'm not trying to be rude but I've never used "see[ing] how fat and ugly I am" as my motivation to lose weight. Instead, I am motivated by being the strongest, healthiest person I can be.

Your post made me sad. :(


Naw, every time I feel good about myself I want to give up. I think being content or happy is not good for me. It makes me want to lie in my bed and watch TV all day. Besides, I'm just saying what everyone is thinking. Also, I know I'm not going to loose weight. I've been at this for 3 years and I'm still at the same weight. The only reason to exercise is to keep from gaining and to keep up my muscles so that I can stand up with my bad spine and my bad knees and all. If I don't work out and let my muscles lax, I won't be able to exist.


Beloved, I'm looking at your picture and you are absolutely beautiful!!  Maybe you've bought into what other people are saying (which really reflects their own personal issues) without realizing it.  Love yourself enough to know you deserve to be healthy and feel good.  And please don't beat yourself up when you are human, and fall off track.



Original Post by: ninjabecki

I always just try to remind myself that I never feel bad about going and working out, but I do feel bad if I skip a workout (for whatever reason - too tired, too late, etc.). So i guess I work out to avoid feeling guilty. :P


My sentiments exactly! Tongue out

At least, that's how I feel when I "don't feel like" working out. Esp. for those 8am Saturday morning runs. Gah.



Original Post by: yamisui

I stay motivated by running with my Corgi.  I pretend he is the one who's fat and needs "training," and I coach him while we run. 

"You'll hit the downhill path soon." 

"Home stretch, bud!  Keep up!" 

"If you have the energy to lunge sideways after duck poo, you should be able to go faster in a straight line."

Right now it is summer and he is dragging a lot, because of his thick fur.  I have him wearing saddlebags so he can carry his collapsible water dish and I can keep him hydrated with water fountains along the way.  I always run him at night, and make sure we run through sprinklers frequently so he stays cool.  But in the winter, he keeps up very well with me and we can go for 90-120 min at a time without him needing to stop. 

"Training Marathon Corgi" is far easier than "running to decrease my thunder-thighs."


LOL I also have a Corgi who's a hesitant runner! I've been in the duck poo situation many times. She can run for hours at the dog park, but when I try to take her for a 2-mile jog, she acts like she's about to pass out. Undecided

It definitely helps to have a running buddy who's in need of motivation. But she stays home for the long runs. After more than 20 minutes she lays down in the middle of the sidewalk in protest.



Original Post by: phhhhh

I found that with intense exercise, I can actually eat 1400-1800 calories of healthy food and still lose weight!!  No more, no carb or packaged food diets for me!  p90x and Turbo Fire are my new friends!!  I love both and just make the time.  Turbo fire is really fun!  I just went to the beach and was able to do 4-5 mile runs, no problem.  Being fit is my new goal and I also lost 16 pounds since I started almost a year ago.   I have multiple days off of dieting in that year, believe me.  I have 6 more to go, but I am in the best shape of my life.


I agree here! I have done P90X and Insanity and now am waiting for Insanity Asylum to come in the mail. After doing Insanity, I am able to run farther, faster, without feeling like I'm going to pass out. Plus, you do get to eat more (good foods) and feel more satisfied all around. I have wanted to try Turbo Fire! Maybe that will be in my future. Laughing



Hi! First I love this site. Someone finally told me  yesterday that I looked thinner( And I didn't have to ask!) I can wear a pair of jeans again! So CountingCalories is working for me! Even cooler, it is working for several folks I referred it too!  Here is a problem(ah, what would life be without some of those?) I have a serious back problem in my lower spine, several Docs and an MRI have all agreed, surgery is in my future. I take pain meds and try to be careful. I truly believe that any weight loss is going to make things easier. I also have a lot of trouble and pain in my legs and knees(this body has been used!). So when I do things like ride my bike or walk too far, or carry to many groceries up the stairs, I can look forward to a couple of days when the med so not help and the surgeons seem nearer. I do do limbering movements and muscle contractions and walk my lovely dog several times a day. But it is going to be some time before I can keep up with her! I know that these problems I have are pretty common in folk who have been overweight and not very active for long periods of time. Does any one have any other suggestions for me? I would appreciate them!



I tore my menesus this last winter and everytime i walk where i feel good, i suffer for it for a few weeks afterward, is there cardio exercises where there is no strain on knees? that is what i need, i don't have access to a pool, exercise bikes cause the same problems.  any Ideas?Undecided



Roller Derby, baby!  I loved rollerskating as a kid, but my husband and son had no interest, so I didn't go much alone.  One day I did go to the local rink and, hey!  There was a flyer to try out for rollerderby!  Awesome!  I did and I love it! 

Roller Derby Leagues are springing up all over!  And there are different levels - some just for fun, some seriously competitive and all levels in between!  Find one that fits you! 

And if you don't like derby or roller skating, just think back to what you loved as a kid and recapture that!  I love to scuba and ski too, but I live in the desert and skating is AC in the summer and I can skate outside all winter, yet another fun thing!  I never liked running or biking, but wheels on my feet make me fly! 

Find your passion!



I've been basically inactive for the past eight years (after being VERY active and fit prior).  I love to snowboard, so I bought a season pass to Squaw Valley and I've headed back to the gym to get myself back in shape!

Although I need to drop 30lbs, I'm not focusing on that right now, just on getting into shape and watching my intake.  I figure the weight will go away as the fitness level goes up!



Hi everyone! check this out, it is an awesome motivator!

http://ernestineshepherd.net/



I didn't really see Oxford as truly thinking she's a mess from what she said - sounds like she just knows herself well enough to figure out what's going to really motivate her.  She seems pretty strong actually.






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Original Post by: oxford007

I think keeping track of workout lengths and intensities is a great way to stay motivated. If I ran today for 30 minutes, next time I'll set a goal to run for 31. If I completed a very challenging workout DVD today and had to stop three times, next time I'll aim to stop only twice. I keep track of all of these things -- just like I track weight and measurements -- and then I always have a new goal to try and reach. The most motivating part is looking back to the very beginning -- when I could only run for 1 minute at a time or I could only do 40% of that workout video. It really shows you how far you've come.


I Agree! Also, when I first started running, I signed up for a 5K run. It motivated me to exercise so that I could improve my time/distance. I also got a heart rate monitor. It helps to measure your workout intensity. I really like my HRM. I've stopped running because it was too hard on my joints, but I'm still working out on my elliptical and I've started doing exercise videos. Jillian Michaels is tough!



Where you live makes a massive difference to how much exercise you get. I think town planning should not be underestimated.

Where I live I can:

- Walk to work in 15 minutes if I'm in a rush.

- Walk to work in 45 minutes, along a more scenic route.

- Go out at lunch to have my

- Carry my entire shopping home, sweating a bit, but not exhausing myself.

- Go for an evening stroll if I so wish, because the area is safe and well-lit.

That's good town planning.

 

 



That was:

- go out to lunch, walking, and have it by a small artificial lake.



My motivation is that I am young and I want to have a long healthy life so I have to start now before it gets harder. The longer I wait the harder it'll be to change. Luckily I am now at a healthy weight and I am in my maintaining phase. Unfortunately, I know that the maintaining phase will last the rest of my life. But that's a small price to pay for a long healthy life without weight related health issues.



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It is a way of life for me, and my passion. It is my favorite form of stress relief, depression cure and anxiety reliever.I love being fit, and have been all over the board with weight, and find that no matter what, eating clean, exercise and proper rest are always a sure win! Letting go of competition and astetics for me really helped, when I decided on being focused on how I feel, health and longevity.



My motivation is my dog... I find it very easy to put off exersise when it is just affecting me... but when my boxer puppy looks at me with those big puppy-dog eyes how can I not take him on a brisk 20 minute walk? Then, once I am out walking, it is very easy to extend the walk a bit so that we end up at the park where we play for a bit.

Besides... I have come to know what he is actually thinking when he looks at me with those puppy-dog eyes... he is thinking, "If you don't walk me now... I'll chew your shoes tomorrow."

I walk to exercise my dog... but also to protect my shoes! Smile



my motivation is my pictures during my college days,

i was so thin and looking good.. i can wear anything i like...

so right now... i'm doing water deit...... and walking at the beach during afternoon



My Doggie loves to be sung to on his walk and he is 10 yrs old now, so with long black hair it is hot for him, but the right tune picks up his ears and tail and gait.  What fun it is to see him march along and do his business just like a big boy.  How can I go up and down two flights of stairs each time I walk him, follow that routine and not be happy with the wonderful sunshine or rain that greets me?  The happiness is what keeps me motivated the rest of the day, who wants to leave the happy mood behind?  You can take it along with you - just put a smile on your face and wave.  At first people may not know who you are, but in time you become the walker who smiles and waves.  They may smile and wave back too.  aea



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